Remember the days of playing “Hide and Seek”? (Yeah, I also remember “Red Rover, Red Rover”, potential broken bones and all, so let’s stick with “Hide and Seek”.) I’m not sure if I ever actually won, probably not known as the most ingenious covert operative, but I might posit that most of us have become fairly adept in our daily lives at hiding our true selves in various ways, …even from our true selves!
One of the many things I love about the Bible is the complete candor and mirror-like reality of its stories. The heroes (with the exception of only One) are nuanced and flawed, their follies and foibles paraded befor us not only to see, but to be related to. And I do. Heartily. One such character is the first king of Israel, a fellow named Saul, described as tall, dark, and handsome (okay, that’s not me), but evidently with a supreme inferiority complex, (that’s where I fit in). Here’s a young buck that God has chosen to be king, God’s prophet proclaims him to be king, and he even LOOKS like a king!
Pick up the story as the prophet, Samuel, comes to anoint him before the nation of Israel in a special ceremony:
“So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel before the LORD, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. Then he brought each family of the tribe of Benjamin before the LORD, and the family of the Matrites was chosen. And finally Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! So they asked the LORD, “Where is he?” And the LORD replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” *
Cracks me up.
Interestingly, earlier in the same chapter we are told that God gave Saul a “new heart”, which informs me that when God chooses me to accomplish something, he will also prepare me inwardly for that job. However, it doesn’t just stop there. That “new heart” must be nurtured and protected or else the weeds of old ways of thinking and outdated patterns of feeling or processing experiences will creep back in again. That’s when I’m tempted to duck out of sight, so to speak, to hide myself from fear of past shame or failure.
The truth says the opposite. As forgiven children of God, only when we step out from behind the baggage of our past can we then step into our full destiny, trusting His work in and through us whether that puts us in the spotlight or not.
In other words, since God, through His Son Jesus, has already come to seek us, we no longer have to hide.
*I Samuel 1:20-23 Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt) (Kindle Locations 15566-15569). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.